South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Saturday in an effort to save Pyongyang’s planned summit with the United States, Reuters reported. US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has said things are moving “very nicely” towards making the summit possible on June 12, according to AFP.
After the meeting between the two Korean leaders, North Korean state media said it is Kim Jong-un’s “fixed will” that the summit should go ahead. The two leaders also agreed to “meet frequently”, the KCNA news agency said.
“The two leaders candidly exchanged views about making the North Korea-US summit a successful one and about implementing the Panmunjom Declaration,” South Korea’s presidential spokesperson said in a statement.
Speaking at the White House on Saturday, Trump said: “It’s moving along very nicely. We are looking at June 12 in Singapore. It hasn’t changed.”
In a tweet, he denied a media report that holding the meeting on June 12 would not be possible even if talks are to happen. He accused The New York Times of using a quote from a non-existent official.
Trump had called off the summit on Thursday, blaming Pyongyang’s “tremendous anger” and “open hostility”. This came hours after North Korea announced it had dismantled its nuclear bomb test site in Punngye-ri.
On Friday, North Korea said it was still open to resolving problems with the US “at any time in any way” despite Trump’s decision to call off the summit.
Earlier this month, North Korea had threatened to cancel the summit following a US joint military exercise with South Korea. Tensions between the US and North Korea escalated in 2017 after Pyongyang stepped up efforts to boost its nuclear weapons programme. The summit in Singapore was aimed at the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.